Mark Cavendish at the centre of Omega Pharma-Quick Step Giro d’Italia team
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mark Cavendish at the centre of Omega Pharma-Quick Step Giro d’Italia team

by Ben Atkins at 2:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Serge Pauwels and Gianluca Brambilla also targeting mountain stages

mark cavendishThe Omega Pharma-Quick Step team for the Giro d’Italia will be built around the sprint ambitions of Mark Cavendish, who has ten stage victories on his palmares so far. The former World champion took three of the six stages on offer to the sprinters in last year’s edition, with only crashes and a fast burst from Andrea Guardini denying him in the other three. The Manxman will be hoping to have ironed out at least some of the problems that saw him sprint from 20 riders back in the Scheldeprijs, as he looks to improve on that haul.

"We start with a very good team built around Mark Cavendish," said directeur sportif Davide Bramati. "The presence of a pure sprinter such as Mark will change our approach to the race if we compare it with our last participations. In any stage where we have a possibility, we have to try to do our best to go for the win. I think an immediate important moment will be the first stage in Napoli. Everyone wants to fight for the first Pink Jersey. The competition is fierce, but we can count on a good group. We believe in our team and we will be there to try to fight and win.”

With no obvious general classification contender the Belgian team will be on the hunt for stage victories which, it hopes, will come from other sources than Cavendish.

“Beside Mark, we go into the race with experienced guys such as [Michal] Golas and [Jérôme] Pineau who have experience going for the stage victories at the Giro,” Bramati said. “We also count on young Julien Vermote in his second participation in the Giro. Then we have [Gert] Steegmans, [Iljo] Keisse, and [Matteo] Trentin ready to show themselves in the sprint train of Mark.

“Trentin is also Italian and wants to show his skills after an injury to his scaphoid due to bad luck earlier this year,” added Bramati. “We go into this race with a good group that will do their best for all possibilities in all stages.”

Traditionally the Giro is more mountainous than the Tour de France, and Omega Pharma-Quick Step is also taking two riders to target the uphill stages.

"For the mountains we can count on Serge Pauwels and Gianluca Brambilla," Bramati explained. "Brambilla is a young guy in his first year with us. He passed through Tour de Romandie in preparation for this race. We will do our best and see how it is with these riders after 10 days.

“We have a good group of fighters prepared to do their jobs 100 percent,” Bramati concluded. “The motivation, commitment, and condition of the guys going into the Giro is good.”

Omega Pharma-Quick Step team for the Giro d’Italia
Gianluca Brambilla, Mark Cavendish, Michal Golas, Iljo Keisse, Serge Pauwels, Jérôme Pineau, Gert Steegmans, Matteo Trentin, Julien Vermote

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